ANZCA’s Diploma of Perioperative Medicine

Sweta Chauhan

Policy Officer - Health, ANZCA

The Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) is leading the development of a formal diploma of perioperative medicine (DipPOM) as part of a major multi-disciplinary collaboration.

The Advancing Perioperative Medicine Project commenced in 2018 when a Perioperative Medicine Steering Committee was formed comprising representatives from ANZCA and its Faculty of Pain Medicine, and of the colleges of intensive care, surgeons, physicians (represented by geriatricians, internal medicine and rehabilitation specialists) as well as the colleges of GPs in Australia and New Zealand and of rural and remote medicine, and a consumer representative.

Clinical experience is a central distinguishing element of the qualification.

The first two topic areas of the diploma will be piloted in the final quarter of 2023 with the full rollout of the diploma (six topic areas) in January 2024.

The diploma will be launched at the ANZCA Annual Scientific Meeting being held in Sydney in May 2023 with full course enrolments being taken later that year.


Perioperative Care Framework

Underpinning the diploma is the Perioperative Care Framework that encompasses the patient journey from contemplation of surgery through to optimal outcome.

This framework has been designed to be a practical resource for those developing a perioperative medicine service.

It identifies key steps and principles in the surgical patient’s perioperative care journey; provides recommendations about how these principles might be applied in practice and provides resources that support the evidence behind these recommendations and/or their implementation in practice.

In December 2021, the Perioperative Care Framework was endorsed by the Perioperative Medicine Steering Committee and approved by ANZCA Council. The document with an accompanying interactive diagram has been published on the ANZCA website.

DipPOM development


The ANZCA’s diploma curriculum is based on a foundation of educational theory, a graduate outcome statement  and the Perioperative Care Framework

The course is a one-year, flexible, competency-based program delivered in a hybrid model of online learning, workshops and clinical experience within six topic areas:

  1. Preoperative assessment. 
  2. Preoperative planning. 
  3. Optimisation. 
  4. Intraoperative impacts on patient outcomes. 
  5. Postoperative assessment and management. 
  6. Discharge planning and rehabilitation. 

Each topic area will be delivered separately over a 10-week period. Each topic area is divided into five key themes. The clinical experience component of each topic area will be supervised by holders of the diploma.

Enrolment eligibility and prerequisites have been determined and diploma e-learning content and clinical environment experiential learning and assessments are currently in development.

Legacy transition to the diploma

In October 2022, ANZCA opened a recognition pathway to allow eligible practitioners to apply for legacy transition to the DipPOM.

This “grandparenting” process is open to medical specialists who have been engaged in the field of perioperative medicine, through education, teaching, research and clinical practice. 

ANZCA will engage those who receive the diploma through this process to support the diploma with clinical supervision and education. Information regarding DipPOM supervisors can be found here.

Applications for the recognition process can be submitted until 1 December 2023. 

Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of prior learning is not a “grandparenting” process but enables practitioners working in the perioperative field to receive credits for some aspects of the DipPOM program.

This will reduce the time it takes them to complete the DipPOM. The eligibility criteria are still in development and will be published on the website when they are completed. 

Value of perioperative medicine

Credible evidence-based data is important in explaining to governments, hospitals and private insurers the financial benefits to organisations of perioperative medicine. It is also an essential promotional tool for potential diploma candidates, the media and a global audience.

Work is being undertaken using evidence-based resources including literature reviews provided by ANZCA, to highlight the benefit of perioperative medicine to patients and their carers and the economic value of the implementation of perioperative strategies to the community as a whole.

A multidisciplinary Perioperative Medicine Economic Working Group has been established to support this important piece of work that will help improve perioperative clinical services across Australia and New Zealand.

More information

For more information about ANZCA’s diploma of perioperative medicine go to the ANZCA website or email, where you can also request to receive updates via ANZCA’s regular Perioperative Medicine Communique.